Impromptu Date (Don’t Try This At Home)

When you become a parent, quality time with your spouse often gets neglected in favour of quality time with your pillow. So when you get an opportunity for a date, you have to take it, no matter how unconventional or unromantic it may seem.

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Our church has a parents’ lounge where you can watch the service on a screen while your children serenely play on the carpet. Or, if they’re Poppet and Pixie, run amok. There is also tea and coffee for us sleep-deprived zombie parents.

After the service on Sunday morning, Hubby was washing the mugs when he cut his finger on the milk jug. I didn’t look at the cut because I usually pass out at the sight of other’s blood but our friends gathered around and agreed: it needed stitches.

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I dropped Hubby off at Medicross, dropped the girls off at my parents’ house, then returned to Medicross. I found Hubby in Casualty, looking quite relaxed, and we spent the next hour just chatting. (Medicross is crazy busy on a Sunday, guys. Don’t go unless you’re dying.) A whole hour with my husband! Without children clamouring for attention! What a weird experience.

(I have to wonder, though; is it okay to leave a wound an hour before stitching it up? Shouldn’t that be kind of urgent?)

One tetanus shot and three stitches later, we finally walked out of Medicross. It was good to have an impromptu date with Hubby but I think next time we’ll try to avoid the bloodshed.

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Have you had a similar experience?


Matters of Size, Matricide and Mattresses


Dear Person(s) About to Get Married And Who Intend Having Children At Some Point Ever,


You don’t know me, but I know you. Maybe you’ve been living on your own for years now and have a whole lot of furniture already. Maybe you’re only just leaving your parents’ home and starting from scratch. Building a home together is fun. Putting together your wedding registry – who doesn’t go a little wild with the scanner and add random things? (Why did no one buy the large Beatles print on ours? WHY?)


Maybe you’re going bed shopping and having fun trying out the mattresses, bouncing like a little kid to test the springs. You’re probably trying to picture the bed in your new master bedroom; will the queen fit or do you go for the double?


Trust me on this: go for the queen sized bed. If your bank account and your bedroom space allows for it, go for the king size. You will thank me in the future when, despite whatever declarations you have made about children sleeping in their own beds at all times, your sick threenager creeps into bed with you and slowly inches you off your pillow and over the side. You will appreciate the extra room when your baby ends up co-sleeping because it makes the middle of the night feeding easier or because it’s just too cold to sit next to her cot when you could be warm and comfy in your own bed.

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Cuddling is precious, yes, but there are also elbows in your neck and knees in your stomach and pins and needles in your limbs from balancing precariously on the last few centimetres of mattress space while you whisper, “Help!” hopefully loud enough to wake your husband but not loud enough to wake the blanket thief who is apparently trying to commit matricide in her sleep.


Get the bigger bed.


You’re welcome,

Zombie Mom


Zombie Mom’s Master Plan . . . Mwahahaha!

Last night during bathtime, I casually revealed the details of my Master Plan. The girls shrieked with glee. My husband laughed nervously. Then I thought, I’m sure a lot of moms could benefit from this Plan. Here it is, fellow zombies:

Step one: Bath the girls together. It’s something they’ve only just started to enjoy, possibly because they are almost too big to fit comfortably in the bath at the same time. The more I threaten that this will be the last combined bathtime ever, the more they promise to stop whining that there’s no space because it’s So Much Fun.

Step two: Let Hubby bath the girls. By himself. Ignore any screaming, begging or sobbing that ensues.

Step three: Let Hubby supervise suppertime by himself. And then bath the girls by himself.

Step four: Disappear right after lunch so that Hubby has the girls for the whole afternoon. Come back just in time to kiss the girls goodnight.

Step five: Disappear before lunch so that Hubby has to supervise lunchtime by himself, then survive the afternoon. Come back in time for goodnight kisses.

Step six: Disappear after breakfast. Hubby must dress the girls for the day, then try not to go insane waiting for naptime. Come back at bedtime.

Step seven: Go out for breakfast. Hubby gets to spend the whole day alone with the girls. Come back at bedtime. Make Hubby coffee or something.

Step eight: Go away for the whole weekend. Sleep. Read books. Go to the toilet without an audience. Shower without an audience. Eat without fending off little hands. Try not to miss the family too much. Resist the urge to pop in to see how Hubby is coping.


What do you think of my Eight Step Programme? I feel it’s quite generous to ease Hubby in like that. Pixie was three months old, Poppet 28 months, the first time I had to parent solo for a weekend. There was no gentle easing in for me. In fact, that whole weekend is a blur. I must have blocked it from my memory.

The Female of the Species


Hubby mentioned the other night that he’d told the guys at work he wanted to work on a male-only project. “A war movie, or a war series,” he said.


I feel for my husband, I really do. The only other male in our house is our (neutered) cat, so there’s not a whole lot of testosterone flowing. What Hubby really needs is a man-cave, a place where he can do whatever guys do to feel manly – blow things up on PlayStation, watch action movies, whatever.


Like all men, everywhere, throughout time, Hubby does not understand women. I told him, as gently as I could, that for at least two weeks of every month, a woman has absolutely no control over her emotions. “Hormones,” I said, “are horrible things.” Hubby didn’t think that was a real excuse, which led to the following conversation:


Me: Just imagine, every month, the inside of one of your organs peeling away from itself. Then your body needs to get rid of what has just been peeled away. That’s what happens to my uterus.

Hubby: I don’t have a uterus.

Me: Exactly!


He didn’t understand. “Your uterus isn’t, uh, peeling away from itself right now, is it?” he asked, perhaps anticipating a hormonal-induced meltdown ahead. I shook my head, but made a mental note to mark my cycle on the wall calendar so Hubby knows when to stock up on Myprodol and chocolate – and when to keep a low profile.


We all know how it ended when Carrie got her period.

We all know how it ended when Carrie got her period.


I don’t have the heart to tell him that one day, when the girls reach puberty, there is a very strong chance our cycles will be in sync – which means three times the drama. Perhaps I’ll break it to him slowly, with gentle hints over the years to prepare him. Because if there’s one thing worse than a pre-menstrual woman, it’s a pre-menstrual teenager.


Fun times ahead, that’s for sure.


Date Night & Dressing Up

I love dressing up. So does Hubby. It’s probably genetic – Poppet and Pixie play dress up just about every day. But I also enjoy dressing up. Sadly, with two small children, it’s not something I get to do very often. So when Hubby says, “Hey, do you want to go to the premiere of Pad Na Jou Hart? It’s black tie!” of course I’m going to jump at the chance.

Pixie in pink

Pixie in pink

The last movie I saw at the cinema was Skyfall. That was in December. 2012. (I really need to get out more.) The last time I got dolled up was . . . for our wedding anniversary last year? Maybe? I can’t remember.

I squeezed myself into my fanciest dress – last worn in my pre-children days. (Thank heaven for support panties.) Poppet, enthralled, reached out to touch the dress almost reverently. “What’s your princess name, Mommy?” she asked.

It was while I was putting make-up on (to hide the zombie complexion) that I remembered what I don’t like about dressing up. Eyeliner. Trying to make sure the blush is even on both cheeks. Trying to avoid clumpy mascara. Too much eye shadow? Too little? Lipstick on my teeth? You can tell I don’t bother with make-up every day, right? Honestly, I don’t know how women manage to wear make-up in this heat. My face felt like it was melting off all night. Next time I think I’m going to pull a Tilda Swinton and just go nude.  (As in, no make-up, not no clothes.  Get your mind out of the gutter!)

I also realised, as I began brushing my hair, that I probably should have given a bit of thought to what I wanted to do with my hair before, you know, I started doing something with it. “Just put it up,” Hubby said. Men don’t realise there’s no just doing anything when it comes to getting dolled up. There’s hairspray, and bobby pins, and sparkly clips, and more hairspray, and making sure the only hair out of place is hair you actually want out of place.

When I put on my killer high heels, I remembered why they’re my killer high heels. My poor feet are used to flat shoes or going bare. These heels are for sitting and looking pretty, not walking or standing for any period of time. Ah, the price of beauty.

These shoes weren't made for walking (but that won't stop Poppet from trying).

These shoes weren’t made for walking (but that won’t stop Poppet from trying).

We kissed the girls goodbye, wiped Pixie’s snot off my sleeve, and bid Nana good luck. Date night, all dressed up, red carpet event, romantic comedy, free snacks, no children. We really should do this more often. What say you, Hubby?